JP3928489B2 - Communication method, communication system, and communication device - Google Patents

Communication method, communication system, and communication device Download PDF

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Publication number
JP3928489B2
JP3928489B2 JP2002167746A JP2002167746A JP3928489B2 JP 3928489 B2 JP3928489 B2 JP 3928489B2 JP 2002167746 A JP2002167746 A JP 2002167746A JP 2002167746 A JP2002167746 A JP 2002167746A JP 3928489 B2 JP3928489 B2 JP 3928489B2
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Prior art keywords
communication
inquiry message
communication device
means
processing
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JP2004015558A (en
JP2004015558A5 (en
Inventor
一哉 小田桐
崇司 笹井
耕司 西村
弘史 角田
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ソニー株式会社
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W48/00Access restriction; Network selection; Access point selection
    • H04W48/16Discovering, processing access restriction or access information
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W84/00Network topologies
    • H04W84/18Self-organising networks, e.g. ad-hoc networks or sensor networks

Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a communication method suitable for being applied to a communication method for performing relatively short-range wireless communication, a communication system for executing the communication method, and a communication device applied to the communication system.
[0002]
[Prior art]
In recent years, a communication method called Bluetooth (registered trademark) has attracted attention as a short-range wireless communication method up to about 100 m, and various compatible devices have been developed.
[0003]
A short-range wireless communication system using a relatively high frequency wireless signal such as Bluetooth has advantages such as no directivity and high transparency compared to an infrared communication method using an infrared signal. The number of compatible devices is expected to increase in the future.
[0004]
In a communication system to which an infrared communication method is applied, in order to establish a communication connection, it is necessary to identify a target for establishing communication by facing a light emitting unit and a light receiving unit of a device to be connected. In addition, it is necessary to maintain the connection position for the directivity during communication. On the other hand, in a communication system using high-frequency signals such as Bluetooth, such positional restrictions are not necessary.
[0005]
In the case of using Bluetooth, an inquiry message for finding a nearby device is transmitted as a broadcast message from a device (hereinafter referred to as device A) that wants to start communication. Then, the device that has received the inquiry message from the device A returns a response message to the inquiry message to the device A. The device A can discover a plurality of communicable devices in the vicinity by sequentially receiving response messages from the devices in the vicinity. The device A selects and specifies a device to be connected according to the information of the response message, and executes connection processing for the device. At this time, when response messages from a plurality of devices are received, they are usually displayed in a list and often selected by the user.
[0006]
In Bluetooth, not only a communication path is established, but also what applications and services are implemented on the communication path are clearly defined as profiles. The profile includes a serial port profile for performing serial communication and a personal area networking profile for realizing a personal area network. A service discovery protocol (hereinafter referred to as SDP) is defined as a procedure for determining these profiles and what services are actually implemented.
[0007]
Device A sends an inquiry message according to SDP to the device (hereinafter referred to as device B) that the device A wants to connect according to the SDP, and device B receives the inquiry message from device A. In response to the inquiry, information related to the service that can be provided by itself is transmitted to the device A as a response message. The device A that has received the response message makes a communication request to the service if the device B provides the desired service, and the desired service between the device A and the device B is started. .
[0008]
As described above, the basic communication procedure in Bluetooth communication is that the device A first transmits an inquiry message for finding a device in the vicinity and receives a response message for the inquiry message. A desired device is selected, and the device is inquired whether there is a desired service, and a communication request for the service is made.
[0009]
The Bluetooth standard is managed by Bluetooth SIG Inc., and specifications describing the details are issued by Bluetooth SIG Inc.
[0010]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
By the way, in a short-range wireless communication system such as Bluetooth, an inquiry message for finding devices in the vicinity covers all devices in a communicable range (for example, 10 meters to 100 meters). For this reason, when there are many communicable devices in the vicinity, a huge number of response messages are received.
[0011]
Usually, the device information included in these response messages is presented on a display or the like, and an operation procedure is required in which the user selects a desired device, but there are many devices in the vicinity. The user spends a great deal of time in the selection operation, and there is a problem that the usability is deteriorated. In addition, it is necessary to check information such as the ID provided by the device to determine whether the device is really the device that you want to connect to, which may impose an excessive burden on the user. It was.
[0012]
In order to solve this problem, for example, Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2001-144781 proposes a method for efficiently performing a procedure for finding a device to be connected by changing the reach range of an inquiry message. According to this method, by setting the device search range to, for example, a short distance, it is possible to limit the devices to be discovered and efficiently specify the device to be connected.
[0013]
However, when there are a large number of devices within a short distance range, the same problem as in the conventional case arises. For example, the user needs to select a specific device from a list. Considering that all devices around us will support the network in the future, this problem will remain. Further, this method focuses on easily discovering a device to be connected, and does not simplify operations such as a service selection procedure to be subsequently started.
[0014]
The present invention has been made in view of such a situation, and an object of the present invention is to enable easy and reliable communication service between devices when performing wireless communication represented by Bluetooth.
[0015]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
In the present invention, when wireless communication is performed with a plurality of communication devices, a predetermined connection operation is performed on the first communication device. While being done continuously The transmission distance is limited to a short distance, an inquiry message for discovering a device to be connected for wireless communication is wirelessly transmitted, and a predetermined standby operation is performed on the second communication device. While being done continuously The inquiry message is received, and a response message to the received inquiry message is wirelessly transmitted. When the first communication device receives the response message, the first communication device performs a connection process with the second communication device. It is a thing.
[0016]
By doing in this way, in the state which has arrange | positioned the 1st communication apparatus and the 2nd communication apparatus in the vicinity, predetermined | prescribed connection operation with a 1st communication apparatus is carried out. Continuously And a predetermined standby operation is performed on the second communication device. Continuously As a result, the inquiry message is transmitted from the first communication device, the inquiry message is received by the second communication device, and the response message is received by the first communication device. Here, since the inquiry message is wirelessly transmitted with a transmittable distance limited to a short distance, there is a low possibility that the inquiry message will be received by a device other than the second communication device arranged close to the inquiry message. The possibility of connecting with other devices can be eliminated. Further, two or more types of inquiry messages are provided so that a general inquiry message that is normally answered by all communication devices can be distinguished from an arbitrary limited inquiry message according to a specific purpose. By transmitting a limited inquiry message and waiting for the limited inquiry message to be received by the second communication device, even if there are a plurality of communication devices arranged in close proximity, the first and first Enables connection with two communication devices.
[0017]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In this example, the present invention is applied to a portable information terminal that performs wireless communication using the Bluetooth method, which is one of relatively short-range wireless communication methods.
[0018]
FIG. 1 is a diagram showing an example of the external shape of the portable information terminal of this example. The portable information terminal 10 of this example includes a display panel 11 configured by liquid crystal image display means and the like, and is configured to display characters and graphics on the display panel 11. The display panel 11 is configured as a touch panel so that an input operation can be performed by touching with a finger or an input pen. In addition, a connection button 17a and a standby button 17b are arranged as operation buttons. Other operation buttons may be arranged.
[0019]
The portable information terminal 10 is a device that can wirelessly communicate with Bluetooth, which is one of the wireless communication systems, and is configured to be able to transmit and receive data with other devices through wireless communication of Bluetooth. The connection button 17a is a button for starting a wireless communication connection from the portable information terminal 10 to another device nearby, and the standby button 17b is a wireless communication connection request from the other device to the portable information terminal 10. It is a button to make it in an acceptable state.
[0020]
FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of the portable information terminal 10 of this example. As already described, the touch panel input unit 12 is configured at the position where the display unit 11 is arranged, and touch input can be performed by touching the surface of the display unit 11 with a finger or a pen. The control unit 13 is configured by a central control unit (CPU) or the like, and executes various control processes in accordance with programs stored in the storage medium 23a attached to the ROM 14 or the storage unit 23, thereby enabling the portable information terminal 10 to Take overall control. The RAM 15 appropriately stores programs used by the control unit 13 and temporary data being processed.
[0021]
The storage medium 16a attached to the storage unit 16 is configured by a magnetic or optical storage medium or a semiconductor memory. In this case, the storage medium 16a may be composed of a plurality of recording media. Moreover, the storage medium fixed to the memory | storage part 16 may be sufficient, and the storage medium which can be attached or detached freely may be sufficient. Further, the program and data stored in the storage medium 16a may be received from another device connected via an arbitrary communication line, and the storage unit 16 may be received via an arbitrary communication line. The storage medium 16a of another connected device may be used as its own storage medium 16a.
[0022]
The display unit 11 includes, for example, a liquid crystal display panel and its drive circuit, and presents various types of information to the user according to instructions from the control unit 13.
[0023]
The touch panel input unit 12 is configured integrally with the display unit 11 and knows the input position of the user by sensing pressure, for example. The control unit 13 interprets various user operations and executes appropriate processes based on information displayed on the display unit 11 and user input operations on the touch panel input unit 12.
[0024]
The button input unit 17 includes the connection button 17 a and the standby button 17 b shown in FIG. 1, and the operation signal is sent to the control unit 13.
[0025]
The wireless communication unit 20 includes a processing circuit for processing wireless communication of the Bluetooth standard, a control circuit thereof, and the like, and an antenna 19 is connected thereto. Here, the communicable range by the wireless communication unit 20 is determined in advance by the transmission power, the antenna 19, and the like. In the Bluetooth standard applied to the wireless communication unit 20, the range is approximately 10 meters to 100 meters. . In this example, the wireless communication unit 20 is described as having a communicable range of 10 meters, but of course may be an arbitrary distance.
[0026]
The blocks from the control unit 13 to the wireless communication unit 20 described so far are connected to each other by a bus line 18 so that various data and operation signals can be transmitted. Appropriately controlled. In the following description, a portion controlled by the control unit 13 as viewed from the wireless communication unit 20 is referred to as a host side.
[0027]
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration example of the wireless communication unit 20. The control unit 21 in the wireless communication unit 20 develops a control program stored in the ROM 22 in the RAM 23 and controls the operation of the entire wireless communication unit 20. The RAM 23 also stores temporary data and the like. The control program stored in the ROM 22 also stores information necessary for short-distance communication, which will be described later. Specifically, for example, the output setting value of the transmission amplifier in the transceiver unit 27 necessary for short-distance wireless transmission is stored, and the transmission power of the wireless transmission signal is stored during short-distance wireless communication. The output is regulated. Information necessary for this short-range wireless communication may be stored in other storage means such as the flash memory 24.
[0028]
The flash memory 24 stores, for example, a device address unique to a Bluetooth standard communication device, a link key that is a common key used for authentication with each communication device, and the like in the control unit 21 as necessary. It comes to supply.
[0029]
The input / output interface 25 is an interface for exchanging data and commands with the host side, and is called a host controller interface in Bluetooth communication. The input / output interface 25 supplies data and commands supplied via the bus line 18 shown in FIG. 2 to the control unit 21 and the baseband control unit 26, and conversely, the control unit 21 and the baseband control unit 26. Is supplied to the control unit 13 via the bus line 18.
[0030]
The baseband control unit 26 provides the data supplied from the input / output interface 25 to the transceiver unit 27 for wireless transmission. Also, the signal supplied from the transceiver unit 27 is digitized and supplied to the host side via the input / output interface 25. Here, various types of control such as link, packet, logical channel, and security, and error correction encoding, decoding, data randomization, and the like are also performed.
[0031]
The transceiver unit 27 performs frequency hopping modulation on the digital data supplied from the baseband control unit 26, performs power control, and wirelessly transmits the digital data via the antenna 19. Further, the data received via the antenna 19 is correlated by generating a frequency hopping signal, the interference wave component is reduced by a filter, or FSK demodulation is performed to supply digital data to the baseband controller 26. .
[0032]
The blocks from the control unit 21 to the baseband control unit 26 in the wireless communication unit 20 are connected to each other by a bus line 28 so that various data and operation signals can be transmitted. The wireless communication unit is appropriately controlled.
[0033]
Next, communication processing using the portable information terminal 10 of this example will be described. In this example, as shown in FIG. 4, two portable information terminals 10a and 10b having the same configuration as the portable information terminal 10 are prepared, and the two portable information terminals 10a and 10b are The mobile information terminal 10a and the mobile information terminal 10b are brought close to each other by pressing the connection button 17a on one mobile information terminal 10a and the standby button 17b on the other mobile information terminal 10b. An appropriate service is executed by starting wireless communication only with the information terminal 10b. In this case, even if another communication terminal of the Bluetooth standard exists in a range where wireless communication with the portable information terminal 10a is possible, in a state where the connection button 17a is operated, a terminal other than the terminal 10b where the standby button 17b is operated. The communication terminal is not connected.
[0034]
Next, an operation when performing wireless communication with the portable information terminal 10 of this example will be described. The portable information terminal 10 of this example has a transmission output capable of wireless communication within a range of, for example, 10 meters during wireless communication according to the normal Bluetooth standard. FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram showing a state in which an inquiry message is transmitted with a normal transmission output.
[0035]
FIG. 5 shows a state in which there are a plurality of terminals M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, and M6 configured as terminals having the same configuration as the portable information terminal 10 or another configuration of the Bluetooth standard. . Here, at least the terminal M1 and the terminal M2 have the same configuration as the portable information terminal 10.
[0036]
Here, the terminal M1 is a portable information terminal that has transmitted an inquiry message with a normal transmission output, the terminals M2, M3, and M5 are in a waiting state so that they can respond, and the terminal M6 is not waiting. Suppose that it is in a state.
[0037]
Here, the terminal M1 can send an inquiry message within a range of 10 meters around the terminal. When this inquiry message is transmitted, a device that exists in a circle with a radius of 10 meters centered on the terminal M1 and is in a standby state so as to respond to an inquiry from another device is the terminal M1 that has made the inquiry. The response message is sent to.
[0038]
Here, since it is unclear at which timing in which frequency channel the device in the standby state is waiting, the terminal M1 performs frequency hopping at an appropriate timing and sequence so as to cover all the frequency channels in a certain period. In Bluetooth communication, about 10 seconds is recommended as a value necessary to collect a sufficient number of responses in the surrounding area. Also, a device in a standby state can receive an inquiry message by appropriately performing frequency hopping. As a result, when the timing of the inquiry message and the frequency channel match the timing and frequency channel of the device in the standby state, the device in the standby state can receive the inquiry message, and further, a response message is sent at an appropriate timing. Can be sent.
[0039]
In the case of the example of FIG. 5, the terminal M1 waits so as to be within the range of a radius of 10 meters centering on the terminal M1 and to be able to respond to the inquiry message by continuing the inquiry process for about 10 seconds, for example. The response message is received from the connected device, that is, the terminals M2, M3, and M5. Here, the terminal M6 does not respond because it is not in a respondable state, and the terminal M4 cannot receive the inquiry message because it exceeds the message reachable range. As a result, the user usually determines which of the three devices is connected to individually identifiable information, for example, a device name arbitrarily given to the device, or an address (Bluetooth device) uniquely given to each device. It is necessary to select based on the device address.
[0040]
Next, FIG. 6 shows a schematic view of a case where a limited inquiry message is transmitted only at a short distance. In the example of FIG. 6 also, it is assumed that the terminal M6 is not in a responsive state and other terminals are in a responsive state.
[0041]
The terminal M1 makes the communication range narrower than usual by reducing the transmission power more than usual by a special instruction (specifically, for example, pressing the connection button 17a) by the user, and only in a very short distance. A communication message can be transmitted. Here, as shown in FIG. 6, for example, it is assumed that transmission power and the like are limited so that a message can be transmitted only within a circle having a radius of about 15 centimeters with terminal M1 as the center. Here, it is assumed that only the terminal M2 exists within a radius of about 15 centimeters with the terminal M1 as the center. In the following description, when the transmission distance is limited to a short distance, it is limited to the range of about 15 centimeters. Compared with the case where wireless transmission is performed so that the radius reaches about 10 meters during normal communication, the transmission power is reduced by about 60 to 70 dB when performing short-range wireless transmission so that the radius reaches only about 15 centimeters. This can be achieved.
[0042]
Next, the limited inquiry message will be described. The limited inquiry message is limited according to a specific purpose that can be distinguished from a general-purpose inquiry message that can be responded to by all communication devices that are waiting to respond to the inquiry message. This limited inquiry message is assumed to respond only to devices that are ready to receive the limited inquiry message. Note that the limited inquiry message is not necessarily one type, and a plurality of types may be provided.
[0043]
In Bluetooth, the inquiry message is distinguished by including a code indicating an inquiry type called IAC (Inquiry Access Code) in the inquiry message. Of these codes, GIAC (General IAC) is a code that responds to inquiries by all devices that can respond, and DIAC (Dedicated IAC) is a code (multiple) that only devices of a specific condition respond to inquiries. . The DIAC is used by communication devices that make inquiries and listens for a specific purpose. For example, the LIAC (Limited IAC) of this DIAC has a limited time (recommended not to exceed 30 seconds). Only a device that can wait for the inquiry code (LIAC) can respond to the inquiry. In other words, it is possible to set the device so that it can respond to the limited inquiry only for a short limited period. In the following explanation in Bluetooth, it is possible to use a GIAC query as a general-purpose query and a LIAC query as a limited query. Of course, the limited inquiry may be an inquiry by any DIAC other than LIAC.
[0044]
In this example, when the connection button 12 is pressed in the terminal M1 (corresponding to the terminal 10a shown in FIG. 4), the limited inquiry message is transmitted only in a short distance. Further, when the standby button 13 is pressed in the terminal M2 (corresponding to the terminal 10b shown in FIG. 4), the limited inquiry message is received only for a certain period, and the system waits in a responsive state. Accordingly, when the connection button 17a is pressed at the terminal M1 and at the same time the standby button 17b is pressed at the terminal M2, the devices that can respond to the limited inquiry message of the terminal M1 are within the range of about 15 centimeters, and Only the device that is waiting to be able to respond to the limited inquiry message, that is, the terminal M2.
[0045]
Here, as in the example of FIG. 5, during normal communication, the terminal M3 responding to the inquiry message from the terminal M1 cannot receive the inquiry message because the distance is long. The terminal M5 can receive the inquiry message because the distance is short, but cannot respond to the limited inquiry message because the terminal M5 cannot receive the inquiry message. As a result, the user can specify the terminal M2, which is a device to be uniquely connected, from the terminal M1, and an operation of selecting a desired device from a plurality of devices required at the time of communication communication as shown in FIG. There is no need to do.
[0046]
In this example, as described above, two devices can be arranged at a very short distance, and the device to be connected can be automatically selected by pressing the connection button and the standby button at the same time. . Furthermore, since the device to be connected can be specified, it is possible to automatically select and execute an appropriate service according to the status of the terminal after connection.
[0047]
Next, processing in the terminal that transmits the inquiry message and processing in the terminal that responds to the inquiry message will be described with reference to flowcharts.
[0048]
FIG. 7 is a flowchart showing a processing procedure in the terminal that transmits the inquiry message (corresponding to the terminal M1 in FIG. 6), and FIG. 8 shows the terminal in response to the inquiry message (the terminal in FIG. 6). It is the flowchart which showed the process sequence in (equivalent to M2). FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing a connection processing procedure on the terminal side that has transmitted the inquiry message.
[0049]
First, with reference to FIG. 7, the processing procedure in the terminal that transmits the inquiry message will be described. The user starts the inquiry process by pressing the connection button 17a of the terminal 1 (step S11).
[0050]
The control unit 13 that has detected that the connection button 17a has been pressed sends an instruction to the wireless communication unit 20 to set an appropriate transmission power so that the message is transmitted only in a short distance. The wireless communication unit 20 sets the transmission power in the transceiver unit 27 to be adjusted based on information related to the transmission power stored in the ROM 22 or the flash memory 24 in advance. After the setting is completed, a response to that effect is returned to the control unit 13 via the input / output interface 25 (step S12).
[0051]
Subsequently, the control unit 13 sends a command to the wireless communication unit 20 to transmit a limited inquiry message (step S13). In the command at this time, the maximum number of devices to be found by the inquiry message and a period during which the inquiry message is continuously transmitted can be given as parameters. In this example, about 10 seconds are set as a time during which a sufficient response can be collected from surrounding devices, and one is set as the maximum number of devices to be discovered.
[0052]
The wireless communication unit 20 generates a limited inquiry message in the baseband control unit 26 according to a command issued from the host side via the input / output interface 25 and transmits the limited inquiry message via the transceiver unit 27 and the antenna 19. (Step S14). At this time, in the transceiver unit 27, the transmission power is controlled based on the information about the transmission power stored in the ROM 22 or the flash memory 23, so that the limited inquiry message can be reduced to a short distance. Will be sent only.
[0053]
Turning now to the description of the processing at the terminal that responds to the reception of the inquiry message, as shown in the flowchart of FIG. 8, the standby processing of the limited inquiry message is performed by pressing the standby button 17b of the terminal. Start (step S21).
[0054]
The control unit 13 that has detected that the standby button 17b has been pressed sends a command to the wireless communication unit 20 so as to respond to the limited inquiry message. The wireless communication unit 20 waits for an inquiry message from another device at a certain frequency at a predetermined periodic interval (step S22).
[0055]
If an inquiry message is received from another device (step S23), the wireless communication unit 20 transmits a response message to the inquiry message to the device (step S24). At that time, the user may be prompted to push up the standby button 17b by presenting the fact to the user on the display unit 11 of the terminal.
[0056]
Subsequently, if the standby button 17b is pushed up, the control unit 13 instructs the wireless communication unit 20 to interrupt the standby process, and the wireless communication unit 20 interrupts the standby process (step S25) and waits for a limited inquiry message. The process ends. Furthermore, if a predetermined time has elapsed, the wireless communication unit 20 interrupts the standby process (step S26), and ends the limited inquiry message standby process.
[0057]
If not interrupted in steps S25 and S26, the radio communication unit 20 changes the standby frequency (step S27), and then repeats the process of waiting for the limited inquiry message.
[0058]
As described above, the terminal operating the standby button 17b can respond to the limited inquiry message while the standby button is kept pressed and within a predetermined period.
[0059]
Returning to the flowchart of FIG. 7, the terminal operating the connection button 17a transmits a limited inquiry message over a short distance, and then waits for a response message to the limited inquiry message from another device (step S15). If the partner terminal receives the limited inquiry message at the same timing and at the same frequency in the state of step S23 in the flowchart of FIG. 8, the wireless communication unit 20 of the partner terminal sets the antenna 19 A response message to the limited inquiry message is transmitted via the step (step S24), and the wireless communication unit 20 of the terminal that has transmitted the inquiry message can receive the response message via the antenna 19.
[0060]
The response message received by the terminal includes a unique ID (Bluetooth device address) that can uniquely identify the terminal. This is acquired and provided to the host via the input / output interface 25 (step S16). ). In this case, since there is only one device that can be inquired, the wireless communication unit 20 ends the inquiry processing at this point. At that time, the display unit 11 may present to the user that the inquiry has been answered, and prompt the user to push up the connection button 17a.
[0061]
If a response message from another device cannot be received, first, if the connection button 17a is pushed up, the control unit 13 instructs the wireless communication unit 20 to interrupt the inquiry process, The wireless communication unit 20 interrupts the inquiry process (step S17) and ends the inquiry message transmission process. Furthermore, if a predetermined time has elapsed, the wireless communication unit 20 interrupts the inquiry process (step S18) and ends the inquiry message transmission process.
[0062]
If not interrupted in steps S17 and S18, the radio communication unit 20 changes the frequency at which the message is transmitted (step S19), and then repeats the process for transmitting the limited inquiry message.
[0063]
In step S16, the control unit 13 stores the ID unique to the terminal included in the response message in the RAM 15, and subsequently instructs the wireless communication unit 20 to set to transmit only in a short distance in step S12. Is sent to the wireless communication unit 20 to return to normal. Based on information related to transmission power stored in advance in the ROM 22 or the flash memory 24, the wireless communication unit 20 returns the subsequent transmission power to the normal state (that is, wireless communication with a transmission distance of 10 meters is possible). To set). After the setting is completed, a response to that effect is returned to the control unit 13 via the input / output interface 25 (step S10).
[0064]
Through the above-described processing in the two terminals arranged close to each other, the connection button 17a and the standby button 17b can both be pressed to uniquely identify the other terminal from one terminal.
[0065]
Furthermore, since the other terminal can be uniquely identified from one terminal, it is possible to continue the connection from the terminal that has transmitted the inquiry message to the terminal that has returned the response message and the execution of the service.
[0066]
FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing a processing procedure from connection to service execution following the processing of step S16 in the flowchart of FIG. Here, the terminal that has transmitted the inquiry message is referred to as terminal 1, and the terminal that has returned the response message is referred to as terminal 2.
[0067]
Here, the terminal (terminal 1) that transmitted the inquiry message is executing an image display program, and this image display program has a function capable of transmitting image data to other devices by wireless communication. And FIG. 11 is a display example on the screen of the display unit 11 of the terminal 1, and the processing shown in the flowcharts of FIGS. 7 and 9 on the terminal 1 is executed in a state where the display shown in FIG. 11 is performed. It shall be.
[0068]
In step S <b> 16 of the flowchart of FIG. 7, the terminal 1 stores the unique ID of the connection destination terminal 2 in the RAM 15. The control unit 13 executes a connection process on the device address that is the unique ID of the terminal 2 temporarily stored in the RAM 15 with respect to the wireless communication unit 20 (step S31). In this connection process, a connection authentication process for Bluetooth communication may be required depending on the settings of the devices, and this connection authentication is performed by inputting identification information called a passkey.
[0069]
When the connection between the terminal 1 and the terminal 2 is established, the terminal 1 searches whether or not the terminal 2 provides a desired service according to a predetermined protocol (referred to as a service discovery protocol). This is performed by transmitting a service inquiry message including a unique ID (service UUID) indicating a specific service to the terminal 2, and the terminal 2 transmits a response message to the inquiry message (step S32). In this example, since the image display program is being executed, an ID of a service that can be used for image transfer is searched. The control information is stored in the ROM 14, the storage unit 16, the storage medium 16a, or the RAM 15 together with an application program such as an image display program.
[0070]
On the other hand, the terminal 2 stands by so as to be able to respond to a specific service. For example, as in the case of the terminal 1, while the image display program is being executed, control may be performed so that services available for image transfer are in a standby state, or all possible services are always in a standby state. You may control to do. Similarly to the standby state of the inquiry message in FIG. 8, control may be performed so that an appropriate service according to the program currently being executed can be executed only while the standby button 17b is pressed. . The control information is also stored in the ROM 14, the storage unit 16, the storage medium 16a, or the RAM 15 together with an application program such as an image display program.
[0071]
Now, in step S33 of the flowchart of FIG. 9, if it is found that the terminal 2 can provide the desired service, the terminal 1 requests the terminal 2 to connect to the desired service (step S34). In this connection process, a connection authentication process for Bluetooth communication may be required depending on the settings of the devices. This connection authentication is usually performed by inputting identification information called a passkey and by making a connection permission confirmation inquiry to the user. If it is determined in step S33 in the flowchart of FIG. 9 that the terminal 2 does not provide the desired service, the connection and service execution process is terminated as it is.
[0072]
When the service connection is established, the terminal 1 executes an appropriate service procedure according to the state of the program currently being executed (step S35). In this example, as in the display example shown in FIG. 11, since wireless communication is started while a certain image file is displayed, the image file is transmitted to the terminal 2. When some processing can be performed by wireless communication as shown in FIG. 11, a message (for example, “# Bluetooth transmission is possible”) as shown in the lower part of the screen of FIG. You may make it show. The control information is also stored in the ROM 14, the storage unit 16, the storage medium 16a, or the RAM 15 together with an application program such as an image display program.
[0073]
When the service is executed, that is, the transmission of the image data is started, on the screen configured by the display unit 11 of the terminal 1, for example, as shown in FIG. Present to the user that data has been transferred. Also, on the screen configured by the display unit 11 of the terminal 2, for example, as shown in FIG. 13, the fact that the image data has been received from the terminal 1 is presented to the user as needed. Further, the received image data may be immediately displayed on the screen configured by the display unit 11 of the terminal 2.
[0074]
After executing the desired service (step S36), if the service does not need to maintain and maintain the wireless communication thereafter, the control unit 13 instructs the wireless communication unit 20 to disconnect the communication (step S36). S37). Further, in the case of a service that needs to maintain wireless communication, the service is continued as it is. As an example of the former, there is a case where wireless communication is used for image transfer as in this example, and as an example of the latter, there is a case of a service providing a communication path such as dial-up communication or IP network communication. . The control information is also stored in the ROM 14, the storage unit 16, the storage medium 16a, or the RAM 15 together with an application program such as an image display program.
[0075]
As described above, by making the above processing in the two terminals close to each other and pressing the connection button 17a and the standby button 17b on both sides, a limited inquiry and response is made at a short distance. It is possible to uniquely identify only the terminal, and automatically establish a wireless communication connection and execute a desired service according to the program execution state and service standby state in each terminal. it can. For example, when the desired service is image transfer, the image is transferred from one terminal to the other terminal, and after the transfer is completed, the disconnection process is performed from one terminal to the other terminal. Also good.
[0076]
FIG. 10 shows an example of a transmission state from when wireless communication is started using the connection button and the standby button in the two terminals M1 and M2 arranged close to each other until the communication is disconnected. FIG. As shown in FIG. 10A, when the connection button 17a of the terminal M1 is pressed, a limited inquiry message transmission a is performed at a short distance (short distance). Then, as shown in FIG. 10B, when the standby button 17b of the terminal M2 is pressed, standby for receiving the limited inquiry message is performed, and transmission b of the response message is performed.
[0077]
Thereafter, the operation of stopping the pressing of the connection button 17a on the terminal M1 and the operation of stopping the pressing of the standby button 17b on the terminal M2 are performed by the user operating each terminal, and the process proceeds to connection connection processing. . Here, the transmission c from the terminal M1 and the transmission d from the terminal M2 are alternately performed, the ID of the partner terminal is confirmed, a service inquiry is performed, and the connection is completed.
[0078]
When the connection between the two terminals M1 and M2 is completed, transmission e of image data from the terminal M1 is performed, and the terminal M2 performs reception processing of the image data transmitted wirelessly. An acknowledgment packet is returned f. Thereafter, when the transmission of the image data is completed, the process proceeds to the disconnection process of the connected connection, and there is a disconnection request transmission g from the terminal M1 and a response transmission h from the terminal m2 to the disconnection request. The wireless connection between the terminals M1 and M2 is disconnected, and the wireless communication process is terminated.
[0079]
In the processing described so far, the connection button 17a and the standby button 17b are used to instruct the connection at one terminal and the standby at the other terminal, respectively. You may make it touch the button displayed on 11 screens. Further, the same operation may be performed by operating other operation means.
[0080]
In addition, as an operation of the connection button 17a and the standby button 17b, for example, the connection button 17a is controlled to send an inquiry message only while the button 17a is being pressed. The inquiry message may be transmitted for a certain period of time when released immediately, or the inquiry, connection, and service execution are processed in sequence only while the connection button 17a is being pressed, that is, wireless immediately when the connection button 17a is released. Communication may be stopped.
[0081]
Similarly, the standby button 17b is controlled to respond to the inquiry message only while the button is pressed. For example, when the standby button 17b is pressed and released immediately, the inquiry message is responded only for a certain period. Alternatively, only when the standby button 17b is being pressed, the inquiry response and the service standby are sequentially processed, that is, the Bluetooth communication may be stopped immediately when the standby button 17b is released.
[0082]
In addition, as the portable information terminal described so far, two buttons, a connection button 17a and a standby button 17b, are prepared. Although the operation is performed, the connection button and the standby button may be used as a single button so that a common operation can be performed between the inquiring terminal and the standby terminal.
[0083]
That is, for example, as shown in FIG. 14, as a portable information terminal 10 ', for communication over a short distance, only the connection button 17c is provided, and both the terminal on the inquiring side and the terminal on the waiting side are provided. It is only necessary to press the connection button 17c. As a process when the connection button 17c is pressed, each terminal transmits the inquiry message by alternately transmitting a limited inquiry message limited to a short distance and waiting for the inquiry message. The inquiry message sent from one terminal is received at the other terminal by connecting the period to be performed and the period to wait for the inquiry message at random, and the connection is received by the other terminal. It becomes possible to shift to processing.
[0084]
FIG. 15 is a diagram showing an example of transmission in this case. Here, it is assumed that the two terminals M1 and M2 are both configured as the portable information terminal 10 ′ having only the connection button 17c for short-range communication, and the connection button 17c is pressed almost simultaneously. By this pressing, inquiry message transmission and standby are alternately set at random intervals in the respective terminals M1 and M2. Here, when a certain amount of time has elapsed from the start of pressing, the inquiry message i transmitted from the terminal M1 is received by the terminal M2, and the response message j is returned to the terminal M1. When the response message j is transmitted, the connection button 17c of each of the terminals M1 and M2 is stopped, so that the process proceeds to transmission k and l for connection processing, and then a predetermined process such as image transfer is performed. There are two-way transmissions m and n by the service, and a disconnection process (not shown) is performed after the transmission is completed.
[0085]
As described above, a limited connection process at a short distance is performed by operating only one connection button provided on each terminal, so that each user operating each terminal M1, M2 operates the terminal. Even in this case, the same button operation is sufficient, and the operation becomes easier.
[0086]
It is also possible to employ a configuration including input means that allows the user to individually specify a plurality of restricted inquiry messages and their standby. FIG. 16 shows a configuration example in that case. The mobile phone terminal 301 is provided with a button group 302 capable of numeric input, and executes a restricted inquiry message corresponding to the numeric input and its standby. Similarly, the computer device 303 includes a numeric key group 304 capable of numeric input as a part of the keyboard, and executes a restricted inquiry message corresponding to the numeric input and its standby.
[0087]
FIG. 17 is a time chart showing a connection procedure when these mobile phone terminals and personal computer devices are used. Here, the terminal M1 is a mobile phone terminal 301, the terminal M2 is a personal computer device 303, and the terminal M3 is another computer device (not shown). The terminals M1, M2, and M3 are configured to repeat the inquiry and standby at a random cycle according to the sequence described in the above-described embodiment.
[0088]
That is, the terminal M1 executes a procedure for inputting a specific key 1 with the button group 302, that is, executes a limited inquiry and standby procedure corresponding to the key 1 (FIG. 17A). Similarly, for the terminal M2, the key 1 is input and the same procedure is executed (FIG. 17B). Further, the terminal M3 inputs the key 2 and executes the order in response to the restricted inquiry corresponding to the key 2 and waiting (FIG. 17C). Here, since the terminal M1 and the terminal M2 make the same restricted inquiry, the terminal M1 and the terminal M2 are connected and the service can be executed as in the case described in the previous embodiment. is there. On the other hand, since the terminal M3 makes a limited number of inquiries, there is no connection between the terminal M1 and the terminal M2.
[0089]
This makes it possible to execute specific restricted inquiries by inputting the same numeric key between devices to be connected, for example, and to connect specific devices in an environment where a plurality of devices exist within a certain range. In this case, it is possible to easily connect the devices.
[0090]
Moreover, in the portable information terminal mentioned above, it was realized by restricting the transmission output on the transmission side as a process for restricting wireless communication at a short distance such as 15 centimeters. You may make it restrict | limit to this wireless communication. For example, without changing the transmission output, the reception sensitivity at the portable information terminal on the reception side may be lowered at the time of standby and restricted to short-distance wireless communication. Alternatively, both the transmission output limitation on the transmission side and the reception sensitivity change on the reception side may be executed.
[0091]
In the configuration described so far, the example is applied to a communication device configured as a portable information terminal. However, it is needless to say that the configuration can be applied to communication devices having other configurations. For example, mobile phone devices, digital cameras, digital video cameras, television receivers, portable music players, headphones, etc. have a built-in (or external) short-range wireless communication unit such as Bluetooth to perform the same processing. Anyway.
[0092]
In addition, as an example of applying the Bluetooth method to the wireless communication method, other wireless communication methods may be applied.
[0093]
Further, in the above-described embodiment, the communication device such as the portable information terminal is an example configured as a dedicated communication device. However, for example, a data communication circuit is incorporated in a data processing device such as a personal computer device. A system for performing the same processing may be configured by attaching a card or the like and installing a program for executing the processing described in the above-described flowchart in the computer device.
[0094]
【The invention's effect】
According to the present invention, the devices to be connected are brought close to each other, and a button for connection is established on both sides. Continuously By pressing or the like, the communication partner can be specified, so that communication between specific devices can be established easily and reliably.
[0095]
In addition, since it is possible to reliably identify the communication partner, it is possible to immediately execute processing predetermined according to the state of the program being executed on one device. Thus, for example, when an image is displayed on one device, by pressing a button, the image is automatically transmitted to a nearby device and a device on which the button is pressed similarly. Is possible. As a result, the user can easily execute a specific application and service.
[0096]
Furthermore, it is most effective when the device to be connected is an individual device. For example, if you want to connect your mobile phone to a personal computer device for dial-up communication, the user should hold the mobile phone with the right hand and bring it close to the computer, and then press the mobile phone button with the right hand and the computer button with the left hand. By pressing simultaneously, the communication between the mobile phone and the personal computer can be surely started, and the operability can be remarkably improved.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an example of the shape of a communication device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a configuration example of a communication device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration example of a wireless communication unit according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is an explanatory diagram showing an example of communication according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is an explanatory diagram showing an inquiry example (an example without limitation) according to an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram showing an inquiry example (an example with restrictions) according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a flowchart showing a processing example when a connection button is operated according to the embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a processing example when a standby button is operated according to an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing an example of processing after connection according to the embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 10 is a timing diagram illustrating an example transmission according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 11 is an explanatory diagram showing a screen display example (initial state) on the terminal according to the embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 12 is an explanatory diagram showing a screen display example (at the time of image data transmission) on the terminal according to the embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 13 is an explanatory diagram showing a screen display example (when receiving image data) on the terminal according to the embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 14 is a perspective view showing an example of the shape of a communication device according to another embodiment of the present invention (an example in which one button is combined).
15 is a timing chart showing an example of transmission in the device of the example of FIG.
FIG. 16 is an explanatory diagram showing a communication example according to still another embodiment of the present invention (an example using a mobile phone and a personal computer device).
FIG. 17 is a timing chart showing an example of transmission in the device of the example of FIG.
[Explanation of symbols]
10, 10 ', 10a, 10b ... portable information terminal, 11 ... display unit, 12 ... touch panel input unit, 13 ... control unit, 14 ... ROM, 15 ... RAM, 16 ... storage unit, 16a ... storage medium, 17 ... button Input unit, 17a ... connection button, 17b ... standby button, 17c ... connection button, 18 ... bus line, 19 ... antenna, 20 ... wireless communication unit, 21 ... control unit, 22 ... ROM, 23 ... RAM, 24 ... flash memory , 25 ... I / O interface, 26 ... Baseband control unit, 27 ... Transceiver unit, 301 ... Mobile phone, 302 ... Button group, 303 ... Personal computer device, 304 ... Number key group

Claims (24)

  1. In a communication method comprising at least first and second communication devices and performing wireless communication by a predetermined communication method between the respective communication devices,
    When a predetermined connection operation is performed on the first communication device,
    Sending an inquiry message to find a device to be connected for wireless communication wirelessly after limiting the transmission distance to a short distance,
    When a predetermined standby operation is performed on the second communication device,
    The above inquiry message is received, a response message to the received inquiry message is wirelessly transmitted,
    When the first communication device receives a response message, the first communication device performs a connection process with the second communication device .
    The wireless transmission of the inquiry message by the predetermined connection operation and / or the reception of the inquiry message by the predetermined standby operation are executed while operating the operation means prepared for each communication device continuously. Communication method.
  2. The communication method according to claim 1,
    The process for limiting the transmittable distance to a short distance is a process for setting the transmission power to a value that is more limited than the transmission power during normal wireless communication.
  3. The communication method according to claim 1,
    A communication method for executing data transfer processing according to a program being executed in the first or second communication device after the connection processing.
  4. The communication method according to claim 1,
    The second communication device is a communication method in which the reception sensitivity of an inquiry message is lowered so that only an inquiry message wirelessly transmitted from a short distance can be received.
  5. The communication method according to claim 1,
    The connection operation at the first communication device and the standby operation at the second communication device are common operations. When this common operation is performed, the inquiry message transmission process and the inquiry message are performed. A communication method that alternately performs reception processing.
  6. The communication method according to claim 1,
    The connection method in the first communication device is a limited inquiry message that can be distinguished from the type of the inquiry message, and the second communication device waits for the limited inquiry message.
  7. The communication method according to claim 6 , wherein
    The connection operation at the first communication device is configured to select a general-purpose or arbitrary limited inquiry message to be transmitted, and the second communication device selects a general-purpose or arbitrary limited inquiry to be awaited. Communication method.
  8. In a communication system including at least first and second communication devices and performing wireless communication by a predetermined communication method between the respective communication devices,
    As the first communication device,
    Communication processing means for transmitting and receiving radio signals;
    Connection operation means;
    When the connection operation means is continuously operated , the inquiry processing message is transmitted from the communication processing means in a state where the transmittable distance is limited to a short distance, and a response message to the inquiry message is received. A response message transmission source and a control means for performing connection processing,
    As the second communication device,
    Communication processing means for transmitting and receiving radio signals;
    Standby operation means;
    Control means for causing the communication processing means to receive the inquiry message while the standby operation means is continuously operated, and causing the communication processing means to wirelessly transmit a response message to the received inquiry message. Communication system.
  9. The communication system according to claim 8 , wherein
    In the first communication device, the process of limiting the transmittable distance to a short distance is a process of setting the transmission power in the communication processing unit to a value that is more limited than the transmission power during normal wireless communication. Communications system.
  10. The communication system according to claim 8 , wherein
    A communication system that executes data transfer processing according to a program being executed in the first or second communication device when the connection processing by the control means of the first communication device is completed.
  11. The communication system according to claim 8 , wherein
    The communication processing means of the second communication device reduces the reception sensitivity of inquiry messages so that only inquiry messages wirelessly transmitted from a short distance can be received.
  12. The communication system according to claim 8 , wherein
    The connection operation means of the first communication device and the standby operation means of the second communication device are common operation means,
    A communication system in which, when this common operation means is operated, the control means of each communication device performs control so that inquiry message transmission processing and inquiry message reception processing are alternately executed by the communication processing means.
  13. The communication system according to claim 8 , wherein
    A communication system in which the inquiry message in the first communication device is a limited inquiry message that can be distinguished from a general-purpose inquiry message, and the second communication device waits for the limited inquiry message.
  14. The communication system according to claim 8 , wherein
    The connection operation at the first communication device is configured to select a general-purpose or arbitrary limited inquiry message to be transmitted, and the second communication device selects a general-purpose or arbitrary limited inquiry to be awaited. A communication system.
  15. In communication devices that perform wireless communication with other communication devices using a predetermined communication method,
    Communication processing means for transmitting and receiving radio signals;
    Connection operation means;
    Standby operation means;
    When the connection operation means is operated, an inquiry message is transmitted from the communication processing means in a state where the transmittable distance is limited to a short distance, and when a response message to the inquiry message is received, A transmission source and a control means for performing connection processing,
    When the standby operation means is operated, the control means causes the communication processing means to communicate a response message to the inquiry message with the communication processing means,
    The connection operation means and the standby operation means are common operation means. When the common operation means is operated, the control means performs inquiry message transmission processing and inquiry message reception processing as the communication processing. There line control to run alternately in section, while the common operating means is continuously operated, the said control means communication device that performs processing of transmitting an inquiry message.
  16. The communication device according to claim 15 ,
    The process of limiting the transmittable distance to a short distance is a communication device that sets the transmission power in the communication processing means to a value that is more limited than the transmission power during normal wireless communication.
  17. The communication device according to claim 15 ,
    A communication device that executes data transfer processing according to a program being executed when connection processing by the control means is completed.
  18. The communication device according to claim 15 ,
    With standby operation means,
    When the standby operation unit is operated, the control unit causes the communication processing unit to receive an inquiry message, and causes the communication processing unit to wirelessly transmit a response message to the received inquiry message.
  19. The communication device according to claim 15 ,
    The connection operation means includes a means for selecting an inquiry message type, and is a communication device capable of transmitting an inquiry message of any selected type.
  20. In communication devices that perform wireless communication with other communication devices using a predetermined communication method,
    Communication processing means for transmitting and receiving radio signals;
    Connection operation means;
    Standby operation means;
    When the connection operation means is operated, an inquiry message is transmitted from the communication processing means in a state where the transmittable distance is limited to a short distance, and when a response message to the inquiry message is received, A transmission source and a control means for performing connection processing,
    When the standby operation means is operated, the control means causes the communication processing means to communicate a response message to the inquiry message with the communication processing means,
    The connection operation means and the standby operation means are common operation means. When the common operation means is operated, the control means performs inquiry message transmission processing and inquiry message reception processing as the communication processing. A communication device that performs control to be executed alternately by the means, and the control means performs processing for receiving an inquiry message while the common operation means is continuously operated.
  21. The communication device according to claim 15 ,
    The communication device, wherein the communication processing means reduces the reception sensitivity of the inquiry message so as to receive only the inquiry message wirelessly transmitted from a short distance.
  22. The communication device according to claim 15 ,
    The standby operation means includes a means for selecting an inquiry message to be waited for, and is a communication device that can receive an inquiry message of any selected type.
  23. In a communication device that performs wireless communication by a predetermined communication method with another communication device having a standby operation means,
    Communication processing means for transmitting and receiving radio signals;
    Connection operation means;
    When the connection operation means is operated, an inquiry message is transmitted from the communication processing means in a state where the transmittable distance is limited to a short distance, and when a response message for the inquiry message is received, the response message A transmission source and a control means for performing connection processing,
    While the connection operation means is continuously operated, the control means performs a process of sending an inquiry message.
    Communication equipment.
  24. In a communication device that performs wireless communication by a predetermined communication method with another communication device having a connection operation means,
    Communication processing means for transmitting and receiving radio signals;
    Standby operation means;
    A control means for causing the communication processing means to receive an inquiry message when the connection waiting means is operated, and causing the communication processing means to transmit a response message to the received inquiry message;
    While the standby operation means is continuously operated, the control means performs processing for receiving an inquiry message.
    Communication equipment.
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US20050202782A1 (en) 2005-09-15
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